Implementing an Integrated Marketing Communications Plan

Budgeting for an IMC and Measuring an IMC

  • A marketing communications budget template can be useful in setting up and maintaining a budget. This will help with visual representation of data, and month-to-month tracking of spending in certain sections. The benefits of using an Excel budget tracker include saving time on formatting, generating charts automatically, tracking month-by-month, and calculating year to date and cumulative spend (Demand Metric, 2017).
  • Consider the following when setting up your marketing communications budget:
    • A percentage of revenue – some companies set their marketing budgets by allocating between 1% and 10% of their revenues to marketing, this method assumes a direct relationship between revenue generation and marketing (not the case for AWWW)
    • Marketing budget history – a detailed look at last year’s budget versus the accomplished goals offers marketers a good idea of where they need to be in the year to come
    • Task-oriented – tally up the cost of all marketing activities planned for the next year, the total amount will give you the marketing budget for next year – one thing to keep in mind is that obtaining accurate costing from various vendors in advance might be challenging (this method does not offer much room for adjustments during the year however)
    • Competition-oriented – matching what your competitors are spending is another way to establish a marketing budget
    • Hybrid method – using the above principles to come up with a realistic marketing budget
  • Communications strategy exists to (TNP, 2017):
    • Help audiences discover your organization and your work
    • Participate in your programs and services
    • Learn from the content you offer
    • Take action on issues
  • Nonprofits can meaningfully measure (TNP, 2017):
    • Activity metrics – can help you better understand what you’re doing to implement your communications strategy, can help you evaluate your process of producing and sharing your messages
    • Reach metrics – can help you assess the size of your audience and whether it’s the right audience for your messages, so that you can understand who may potentially hear your messages (this metric doesn’t show a complete picture of your effectiveness on your own)
    • Engagement metrics – can help you understand the effect your communications messages are having on those who hear them, is a measurement of when and how others engage with you (audience interaction is required in these metrics)
    • Impact metrics – all about who you are and what you are really trying to achieve, can help you measure the behaviors and attitudes you’ve shifted, the wrongs you’ve righted, and the actions you’ve inspired audiences to take
  • Measuring the effectiveness of communication is vital to understanding its value and learning how to shape it for greater effectiveness (NAP, 2017). Six temps to achieving a quality of measurement:
    • Define your goals – identify the role of communication in reaching the goal, defining the activity metrics (a.g. percentage increase in visits to website) and determine the outcome metrics (e.g. percentage growth in program participants)
    • Understand stakeholders – connect the dots between stakeholders, prioritize them, and understand their needs and interests
    • Define your benchmarks – compare past performance over time or compare results with those of other services
    • Define your metrics – pick the right metric, the ideal index is actionable, is there when you ned it, and continuously improves your process, and gets the results you need
    • Select data collection tools – select the right tool depending on what you are measuring
    • Use the data to make better decisions – ask “so what?” in order to understand what the data actually mean in real-world terms
  • The appropriate tools depend on the objective:
    • Content analysis can be used to evaluate messaging, positioning, themes or sentiment
    • Survey research can be use to measure awareness, perception, relationships, or preference
    • Web analytics can be used to measure engagement, action, or purchases

References (APA)

High Performance Marketing, Demand Metric. (2017). Marketing communications budget template. Retrieved from

The National Academies Press. (2017). Measuring communication effectiveness across diverse backgrounds and missions. Retrieved from

The Nonprofit Times. (2014). Measuring the success of your communications strategy. Retrieved from

BrandUniq. (2012). Six ways to set your marketing budget. Retrieved from

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